Student Advice Service – Money Matters

News from the Student Advice Service at the University of Brighton

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How budgeting can improve mental health

The Student Advice Service is supporting Wellbeing Week with this blog examining the relationship between good money management and good mental health.

The recent spike in the cost of living is affecting most of us, and it is well known that money worries can have a significant impact on your mental health and wellbeing. The cost of essentials like food and energy is significantly higher then it was only a few months ago, however your student loan has been slipping behind the cost of living for years, and students were only offered 2.8% cost of living increase for 23/24.  Sadly that is nowhere near enough to cover the increase in living costs.  We know that money worries cause stress and anxiety, and those who already live with some mental health difficulties can feel very out of control when they are worried about money.

And let’s face it, new technological advances make it SO EASY to spend money without even being aware of it.

If you are struggling with budgeting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Student Advice Service is a non-judgemental and confidential service, and you can book an appointment with us to go through your budget and help you make plans. We are always happy to do this and to help you with your hardship fund applications, so don’t go to anyone else for hardship fund advice.

It is well known that people’s mental health affects their spending – when we feel very low, it can feel helpful to use spending to cheer ourselves up, but that can so easily lead to unmanageable debt.

Worry about debt can in turn cause our mental health to take a real dip, so the relationship between our mental health and our financial health is clear and can be a cycle where debt feeds poor mental health and poor mental health feeds debt.

When we are in control, we tend to feel much better, so that is our message: take control of your spending to help yourself to better mental health.

The Student Advice Service can help you to get your spending under control, and to access all the money you are entitled to, so if you are worried about your finances, you are not on your own, there is a team of advisers happy to help you, and a lot of other people in the same position as you are.

We can give you advice about how to avoid being scammed, how to budget and how to apply for hardship funding.  Learning how to save, and having even a small amount of emergency savings can help you feel much safer in the world.

Check your budget now, so you know how your spending is going and whether you will need to work.

You can get in contact with the Careers team for help getting a part-time job – it would be better to be working now than to wait until you have a financial emergency and give yourself less choice about the kind of work you take.

You may already know about the Money Saving Expert website – their team have produced a brilliant booklet on money and mental health which could help you, so take a look.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Student Advice Service if you need any help with your money issues. We can meet you in person or over MS Teams.

We are also hosting a Wellbeing stall outside Aldrich library in Cockcroft Building, Moulsecoomb campus between 12pm – 2pm this Friday 17th November, so please come along and ask us any questions. See you there!

Student Advice

Helen Abrahams • November 15, 2023

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